Death to Paint Us

J. Michael Martinez
there is always 
one more death
to paint us
 
an ochre
without axle
aiming us like 
 
a sunflower  
down a path
a harp once followed
 
to still the scythe
before losing 
love against itself

More by J. Michael Martinez

Xicano

as light
               shaped by trajectory.

a wind settles in the body.
Echécatl the breath, the flint & spark.
the house of prayers.

I am

when sounds exchange questions
when light enters the lung
when given

the noun:                a variable absence
a law               pinned to a quail's wing.

White

               as the meat
               within the shell

as the shell before the caw

a bleached weed
               a fig
dusted to sweet the skin

egg albumen of peacock
               butterfly

held to the ivory of oxen hoof
               pulling
               the space

between sins               I am

               as I am so

the host               on the tongue
               God of Bread

complexion of conquest
               the salt of Lot

as God is
               a crown of thorn
               diadem of wheat

so am I the echo
calling fossil back to name

amaranth ash               spread across the light

Meister Eckhart's Sermon on Flowers and the Philosopher's Reply

A hollowed singularity exists in flowers 
like pathos in a dandelion: 
an eddy of fate, degreeless, 

silvering through memory.
A scabbed consonant departing
the sentence: locust petal, bromeliad, 

a surfacing shame, lightless, beyond hearing.
Solitary, the clock circumvents sound
and a horse importunes 

a wasp bowing before significance.


                     ●


It is in fact doubtless a wasp bows before significance
degreeless in a dandelion.

It also stands to reason that, in a clock, locusts circumvent memory 
in order to depart through fate.

And anyone can see that singularity exists lightless
like an eddy of pathos surfacing beyond hearing.

In conclusion, however solitary 
(and you know this as well as I), 

a consonant will always 
depart the sentence before shamed by a horse.

Related Poems

The Painter’s Measure

For Nicole Phungrasamee Fein

Hope is encountered, variously
remembered, granted the patterns
of heaven—countless tiny
stars, oxalis hearts,
forget-me-nots, test sheets

Distant mountain ridgelines
flatten to paper in daylight
with every purposeful motion
night vision of timeless time
approaching the pulse of suspension

Metabolic edge of experiment,
the radiant points, scales and
variations of beads and dots
breathe benevolent notes, their
particular legibility of trackless

Resistance, deep-rooted, time
becomes sight incarnate, embodied
control framing chaos, space beyond
clarity, branches of lavender, thistle
grinding binding wetting the colors

A meteor shower—constellation
as memory of perfection